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Born in 1934, White’s first boating mem­ory goes back to age six and the joy he ex­pe­ri­enced at be­ing al­lowed to join his fa­ther Jack in the T Class Taip­ing sail­ing home from the an­nual Ko­hi­marama Yacht Club (KYC) picnic. A builder by trade, Jack White was a skilled yachts­man and boat­builder. To­gether with Ivan An­drews he built the 14-foot skim­mer Pre­fect, which blitzed ev­ery­thing in its class. In 1940 he was man­pow­ered into Percy Voss’s yard for the war years. De­spite this, he still found time to build his son a P Class, Scamp.

By now Mur­ray had be­come good friends with Des Town­son, also born in 1934, and to­gether with Peter Nel­son, the trio built nu­mer­ous model yachts.

“I could see Des and Peter had a bet­ter eye than I did; it was no sur­prise to me they both be­came yacht de­sign­ers,” re­calls White.

By the end of WWII, White and Town­son both owned Ps and raced each other ev­ery week­end dur­ing the sum­mer; Westhaven races on Satur­day and KYC races on Sun­day.

The pair were never far apart on the wa­ter, but Town­son won the Auck­land P Class tri­als for the Tan­ner Cup in 1948 and 1949 with White run­ner up both times. Town­son would go on to win the 1950 Tan­ner Cup.

Both left school aged 16 and sold their Ps. While Town­son be­gan re­fit­ting an el­derly mul­let boat, af­ter a stint in a Z Class White be­gan crew­ing for Alan Bar­clay in Silver Ferns.

A cou­ple of years later White bought a fifth share in his fa­ther’s keeler, Scout, which the Ewen Bros had de­signed and built in 1909. White bought his fa­ther out the fol­low­ing year and skip­pered Scout to sev­eral wins in­clud­ing an Auck­land-to-bay of Is­lands race and an Auck­land-to-tau­ranga race.

Mean­time his fa­ther had com­mis­sioned Jack Brooke to de­sign Glen­nis, which was built by Dave Marks.

The first Auck­land to Suva race was to be held in 1956 and White joined Tom Buchanan’s Woola­cott keeler, Wan­derer, as crew. To every­one’s sur­prise, Wan­derer won the race on both line and hand­i­cap.

“Our time re­mains a record to this day, the slow­est ever time by a win­ning boat,” chuck­les White.

That same year White mar­ried Noe­line (nee Smith) and be­gan build­ing a house in Pan­mure. Sail­ing wise, he crewed for Jim Dav­ern on the Ste­wart 34 Princess, while Town­son gen­er­ously loaned the White fam­ily his Woola­cott keeler Storm and his first keeler de­sign, Serene, for hol­i­days afloat.

It wasn’t un­til the early 1960s that White again owned his own boat, a Town­son Mistral dinghy. It cost £95, a sig­nif­i­cant sum in those days, which White raised by raid­ing Noe­line’s fam­ily ben­e­fit ac­count. “That £95 was one of the best in­vest­ments we’ve ever made in fam­ily fun.”

Over the next 18 years he owned five Mis­trals and won four class cham­pi­onships. While White’s re­luc­tant to sound his own trum­pet, ac­cord­ing to a re­li­able source what he

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